Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a religious education curriculum for ages 3-12 that builds upon a child’s natural sense of wonder and their need to learn through rich sensory experiences in order to help the child fall in love with God. CGS seeks to create and facilitate a sacred, “hands-on space” in which both the children and their catechists can hear, ponder, and celebrate the essential mysteries of the Catholic faith as revealed in Scripture and the Liturgy.
Level 1 is for children ages 3-6. Children that age are particularly capable of receiving and enjoying the most essential elements of our faith—the announcement of God’s love especially experienced through Jesus, the Good Shepherd, who died and is risen. Materials on the life of Jesus Christ and his teachings help to make the mystery of God concrete for the child. The heart of the catechesis for children under six revolves around the Parable of the Good Shepherd.
The 3-6 year old child enters the mystery of the Eucharist by first learning the names of the articles used on the altar and then through the most important gestures including the preparation of the chalice, the epiclesis and offering, and the sign of peace. Through the experience of seeing these gestures, presented one by one, the Mass emerges as the Sacrament of the Gift. The child becomes acquainted with the historical character of the liturgy through the events of the Last Supper, Christ’s death, and His resurrection.
Sessions are limited to 8 children.
Children must be potty-trained.
- Tuesdays from 3:30 - 5:00 p.m.
- Wednesdays from 9:15 - 10:45 a.m. (priority given to MACH moms)
- Wednesdays from 4:00-5:30 p.m.
Level 2 is for children ages 6-9 (grades 1 and 2). The elementary age child is captured by the image of the True Vine. Moral parables offer a model for comparing their behavior with that of the Pharisee, the Tax Collector, or the Good Samaritan. The elementary children see the parts of the Mass—the Liturgy of the Word, the Preparation of the Gifts, the Eucharistic Prayer, and the Communion—as one unified prayer made of many smaller prayers. Children prepare for the celebration of First Communion (or Solemn Communion) through a series of communion meditations focusing on the relationship with Jesus.
Sessions are limited to 10 children.
- Thursdays from 4:00-6:00 p.m. (priority given to St. Joseph's parishioners)
St. Joseph’s Parish is able to offer a variety of faith formation opportunities for preschool through high school age students thanks to the faithful stewardship of our parishioners. Our faith formation budget is subsidized by our parishioners through the weekly and monthly adult offertory. Please give a donation to help cover costs of our faith formation program. In the past, $60 has been the suggested amount per student. We encourage you to give more (if able) to help offset costs for families that aren't able to give as much.